UMP Summernationals Set to Invade DuQuoin July 1 1st Appearance of Late Models in Two Years! Marion, IL June 24, 2001- Can Batesville, Arkansas’ Billy Moyer be as dominant at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds as he has been at the...
Set to Invade DuQuoin July 1
1st Appearance of Late Models in Two Years!
Marion, IL June 24, 2001- Can Batesville, Arkansas’ Billy Moyer be as dominant at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds as he has been at the Illinois State Fair mile in Springfield? That’s the question that race fans will be asking themselves as they file into the revamped facility on Sunday, July 1 to view the action in one of the richest events of the United Midwestern Promoters Summernational Series.
Moyer is the only four-time winner of the 40-mile Illinois Fall Nationals event in Springfield and the current 1-lap track record holder at the Illinois State Fair mile. He heads a strong contingent of nearly fifty area and national late model drivers that are expected to invade the park-like setting of the DuQuoin facility.
A company of Illinois hotshoes such as Jimmy Burwell (Mt. Vernon, Il), Shannon Babb (Decatur, Il), Bob Pierce (Oakwood, IL), Randy Korte (Highland, IL), Billy Drake (Bloomington, IL), Doug McCammon (Robinson, Il), Matt Taylor (Springfield, IL) and Joe Ross, Jr. (Mechanicsburg, Il) are expected to battle area and nationally known drivers such as Moyer, Bill Frye (Arkansas), Steve Barnett (Indiana), C.J. Rayburn (Indiana), Terry English (Kentucky), Ed Dixon (Missouri), Kevin Claycomb (Indiana), John Gill (Indiana) USAC star Jack Hewitt (Ohio) and Brian Birkhofer (Iowa) for the $10,000 first prize in the 14th scheduled event of the 26 race Summernational series.
The big announcement this week was that NASCAR Winston Cup star Ken Schrader will return to the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds for the first time since 1986. Kenny’s last appearance at DuQuoin was in the late Glen Neibel’s V-6 Chevrolet USAC Silver Crown dirt car. The car suffered a mechanical failure in qualifying, ending Schrader’s day prematurely. While Schrader has won in three different types of cars on the Illinois State Fair mile, and has a couple of wins at the Indiana State Fair mile, he has yet to find victory lane at DuQuoin, the dirt mile closest to his Fenton, Missouri home.
Moyer took the checkered flag in the first event of the Summernational series to actually be run, at the Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway, after the scheduled opener at Brownstown, Indiana was a washout. Billy Drake took top honors and the $5000 prize at Danville, while current 1-lap track record holder Dan Schlieper won at Hales Corners, Wisconsin. The June 21 event at Crown Point, Indiana was also a victim of Mother Nature.
The last late model appearance at the DuQuoin "Magic Mile" was a UDTRA Hav-A-Tampa series event in June 1999. This was also the first ever late model race held at DuQuoin. Thirty-three late models made the trek to DuQuoin in 1999, with the 40-mile main event going to one of the most popular late model pilots in the country. Tennessee native Scott Bloomquist took the feature lead on lap 18 from Kentucky’s Steve Francis, and led the last 23 circuits enroute to a $12,000 payday.
Drivers on July 1 will be shooting for Pewaukee, Wisconsin native Dan Schleiper’s 1999 one-lap track record of 30.041 (119.836 mph), the 8-lap track record of 3:59.84 held by Bloomquist, and the ten lap record of 5:07.83 held by Clayton Christenberry. No 40-lap track record currently exists for the late models.
Also on the card will be heats and a 20-mile main event for the UMP Modifieds, who will battle for a $2000 first prize in their feature event. The modifieds made an appearance with the Hav-A-Tampa cars in 1999, and have been a mainstay of the Labor Day racing weekend at the DuQuoin State Fair. Nearly 60 modifieds are expected to be in the pit area race morning, featuring drivers such as John Seets, 1999 June event winner Jerry Buck, 1998 State Fair race winner Jim Sherreck, 2000 State Fair race winner Kyle Steffens, 1999 State Fair race winner Kevin Gundaker, former NASCAR weekly racing series champ Jeff Leka, Jeff Parks, Matt Simpson, Marty Hiser and Brian Shaw.
The unofficial track record for 20 miles for the modifieds is currently held by Kevin Gundaker at 11:36.69 (103.346 mph).
The pit gate opens at 9 a.m., with the Grandstand open at 11 a.m. Practice gets underway at 12 noon with qualifications at 1 p.m. and racing at 2. Late models will qualify and run heat races and a semi-feature, while the modifieds will draw for heat race position. With the early afternoon start, it is possible that the feature events could be run under the new lights. Rules and ticket information can be found by contacting the promoter, Track Enterprises at 217-764-3200, or on the world wide web at www.trackenterprises.com, or the DuQuoin State Fair box office.